Dudes look like ladies 

Gabbing with Whistler’s most notorious cross-dressers

Quinlan, Varrin and Young.

A law firm?

A folksinging trio?

Not even close. See: cross-dressing. Around these parts the three are the unofficial yet undisputed local authority on dudes getting dolled up as dames.

For the theatre. It’s probably a good idea to add that.

As the crew from Short Skirt Theatre was well aware when they recruited QVY for the upcoming production of Sleeping Beauty, you couldn’t stage a local pantomime without them. Gender bending is essential to the British theatre genre that pokes fun at classic fairy tales, and in Whistler there are none better at discovering the woman within than Quinlan, Varrin and Young.

That’s Chris Quinlan – by day a wild-mannered cafe owner and proprietor, soon to take the stage as buxom busybody Dame Amonia Goodbody.

Reverend J. Michael Varrin, Esq. – by night general manager and resident bon vivant of the Garibaldi Lift Co., soon to flounce into your big gay heart as Good Fairy Azuriel.

And Scott Young – head honcho for the soon to open Ric’s Grill, in the meantime truly larger than life, brushing the seven foot mark as the less than bewitching, beehive be-wigged Queen Semolina.

Off stage, the three exude rugged masculinity. A variety of facial hair permutations range from full beard to handlebar moustache. They speak in hearty baritones. They lean on furry forearms.

But these boys’ theatre resumes reveal a host of widows and wives and wenches. Rev. Varrin even had a go as Marilyn Monroe at last February’s Celebration 2010 Whistler Arts Showcase Cultural Cabaret. Smashing!

Following a recent Sleeping Beauty rehearsal Pique managed to corral these three cowboys from Mars – and was given the rare opportunity to hear straight from their purty mouths how they got so good at day trips to Venus.

Read on, but be warned. This is not for the faint of heart.

Pique : Are there any female icons of stage and screen that are inspiring your current roles?

Chris Quinlan: Loretta Swit.

Mike Varrin: Sue Ellen from Dallas.

Scott Young: I like Creepella from the Flintstones.

MV: Jane Fonda in Barbarella was good.

SY: If we could get into a costume like that we’d be rockin’.

Pique: I’m wondering how three obviously very masculine men such as yourselves end up in such roles.

CQ: The turning point for me when I did get a chance to actually perform in a dress was walking out into the foyer at Millennium Place and two councillors and a newspaper editor ( Say it isn’t so, Bob!) grabbed my breasts.


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